Wednesday, October 17, 2012
New York Times: NYU Law Plans Overhaul of Students’ Third Year:
There is an old saying that in the first year of law school they scare you to death; in the second year, they work you to death; and in the third year, they bore you to death. The usefulness of the third year of study ranks high among the growing chorus of complaints — which includes soaring tuition and a glutted job market — about law schools.
New York University School of Law is now trying to address those questions about the utility of the third year. On Wednesday, the school is expected to announce an overhaul of its curriculum, with an emphasis on the final two semesters.
The move comes as law schools are being criticized for failing to keep up with transformations in the legal profession, and their graduates face dimming employment prospects and mounting student loans.
NYU Law’s changes are built around several themes, including a focus on foreign study and specialized concentrations. Some students could spend their final semester studying in Shanghai or Buenos Aires. Others might work at the EPA in Washington, or the FTC. Another group, perhaps, will complete a rigorous one-year concentration in patent law, or focused course work in tax. ...
“There is a growing disconnect between what law schools are offering and what the marketplace is demanding in the 21st century,” said Evan R. Chesler, the presiding partner of the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and a trustee of NYU Law. “The changes we’re rolling out seek to address that.”
There has been much debate in the legal academy over the necessity of a third year. Many students take advantage of clinical course work, but the traditional third year of study is largely filled by elective courses. While classes like “Nietzsche and the Law” and “Voting, Game Theory and the Law” might be intellectually broadening, law schools and their students are beginning to question whether, at $51,150 a year, a hodgepodge of electives provides sufficient value.
- Above the Law, NYU Law Revamps 3L Year: This Pig’s Lipstick Has An International Flair
- Paul Campos (Colorado), Shuffling Deck Chairs
- The Faculty Lounge, The Third Year, and Before
- Inside Higher Ed, Law Schools Get a New Look
- New York Law Journal, With Eyes on Jobs, NYU Law Launches New 3L Programs
- Simple Justice, NYU Law School: Third Year, PROFIT!!!
- Volokh Conspiracy, The Third Year of Law School and a Comment on Credentialing, Education, and Grades in Higher Education